September 30, 2010

an early morning romp in San Francisco

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Each day I try to get some good aerobic exercise, and last Sunday morning the Filbert Stairs filled the bill.

It was a bit too early for NorthBeach, and definitely way too early to go spooking around Chinatown; so I think it was quite natural that I ended up at the base of Coit Tower -- deciding to hike down the Filbert Stairs was just sort of a spur of the moment thing.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Easy hiking down, but coming up is another story!   Some day I'll have to count the number of steps in those stairs, but they are definitely a real slog to climb.   They start on the flats of the Embarcadero and go up, straight up Telegraph Hill -- which originally served as a lookout to keep an eye on ships entering the bay.

Quoting Wikipedia:
The hill owes its current name to a semaphore, a windmill-like structure erected in September 1849, for the purpose of signaling to the rest of the city the nature of the ships entering the Golden Gate.   Atop the newly-built house, the marine telegraph consisted of a pole with two raisable arms that could form various configurations, each corresponding a specific meaning: steamer, sailing boat, etc.   The information was used by observers operating for financiers, merchants, wholesalers and speculators.   As some of these information consumers would know the nature of the cargo carried by the ship they could quickly predict the upcoming (generally lower) local prices for those goods and commodities carried.   Those who did not have advance information on the cargo might pay a too-high price from a merchant unloading his stock of a commodity — a price that was about to drop.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Refreshed and invigorated by my trek up the Filbert Stairs -- oh who am I kidding, I was plum tuckered-out -- I made my way over to Chinatown.   I think it's great fun searching for juxtapositions between this area and the skyscrapers of the Financial District.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

It's not terribly difficult finding something "arty" in Chinatown.   Oh, San Francisco has museums filled with all sorts of "intellectually correct" art, but when I spotted this curious washer hanging down from an even more curious piece of wire I knew I had found a little bit of "art" on my own.

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photowannabe said...

Your "art" is spectacular. I love the washer on the wire and oh my, the SF sunrise is simply stunning.
Good for you on those stairs. Better you than me. (:0)

Berit said...

Beautiful pictures:)


Unknown said...

Lovely pictures! Love the 2 first ones! amazing! :)

AphotoAday said...

HI PHOTOWANNABE SUE -- Yep, it was pretty stunning just standing there. Wish I had hauled my tripod up and down those steps though, I had to shoot at ISO-800 and there is a lot of noise in the larger image. I can probably reduce the noise in Photoshop if I ever print the image.

And thanks BARE BILDER -- I took a look at your site and love your work. I'm giving you a link so I, at least, can find you easily.

And also thanks MULLEH -- everybody loves a sunrise, me especially. I always enjoy them much more than sunsets for some reason. Some day I'll figure out why.

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